Pakistan says 'almost all' Uighur militants eliminated

China blames violent unrest in its far western region of Xinjiang on separatist groups


Reuters September 02, 2015
President Mamnoon Hussain shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, China on September 2, 2015. PHOTO: PID

Almost all members of the Uighur militant group the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) have been eliminated from Pakistan, the country's president said on Wednesday during a visit to Beijing.

China blames violent unrest in its far western region of Xinjiang on separatist groups like ETIM, who it says want to set up an independent state called East Turkestan and have bases in countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Many foreign experts, however, have questioned whether ETIM exists as the coherent group China claims it is.

Meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Great Hall of the People, President Mamnoon Hussain said a recent anti-terror operation codenamed Zarb-e-Azb "has been successful in eradicating the terrorism from our country".

"It has also been very helpful in eliminating the ETIM element from our country and I think almost all the ETIM people in our country have been eliminated. Maybe, if they are there, there should be very few," Hussain said.

China and Pakistan are "iron brothers" and always help each other "with great zeal", he added. Hussain is in China to attend a military parade marking the 70th end of World War Two in Asia.

Hundreds have died in violence in Xinjiang in the past few years, blamed by Beijing on the militants. Rights groups say the real cause of the unrest is Chinese restrictions on the Islamic faith and culture of the Uighur people who call the region home.

China says ETIM recruits Uighurs who have gone to Turkey and trains them with extremist groups in Syria and Iraq, with the intent of returning to Xinjiang to wage holy war.

COMMENTS (8)

Vectra | 6 years ago | Reply And what about Lashkar Let???
Aman | 6 years ago | Reply Honestly I find this talk of "Higher than Himalaya sweeter than honey friendship" etc quite amusing. including China and Pakistan being "Iron brothers". I'm not sure if China has this usage though. Fact of the matter is China didn't help Pakistan in 1965 or 1971 and actually chided Pakistan in 1999. China won't risk conflict with India for the sake of Pakistan. Nations are ultimately guided by narrow national interest and all this talk of unconditional friendship is rubbish
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